It's no myth that changes in your body weight can affect your singing voice and your vocal cords. Some people won't hear any difference with their weight changes, but others may hear pretty extreme changes in the tone of their voice. Beyond vocal tone, changes in weight can affect your vocal agility, breath support, and the clarity of your voice.
In some cases, people report hearing changes in their voices when they gain weight. According to the Director of the Division of Voice and Laryngology, Dr. Reena Gupta, the change differs for men and women. Extra weight results in increased production and storage of female and male hormones. In men, this can result in their voices getting lighter. For women, this can result in their voices getting heavier.
In general, gaining weight also adds difficulty to breathing and vocal clarity depending on the severity of a person's obesity. This means breath support can be an issue when you gain weight and cause your vocal phrases to be less smooth. There is also a chance that the extra weight around your neck can muffle the clarity of your voice if you are severely overweight.
On the flip side, losing weight may lighten your voice if you're a female and deepen your voice if you're a male. If you're not losing a dramatic amount of weight, it is likely that you won't notice a difference at all in your voice. If you were severely obese, you may notice more clarity in your tone. You may even notice more ease in your vocal agility when it comes to singing fast.
You will also notice that you will be able to strengthen your breath support abilities. You will be able to make it easily through long sung phrases and hold beautiful high and low notes longer, which will increase the emotional resonance of your performances. These notes can also come out more richly when you are able to expand your chest with more ease to fully support the notes. Good breath support also helps you to change between your chest voice and head voice more fluidly.
Many studies from scientists and accounts from singers who were pregnant have reported that women's voices temporarily got lower after the pregnancy. Sopranos may lose their higher range for a while and become altos. Altos may lose their upper range and be able to hit notes in the tenor range that they could never hit before. This isn't guaranteed to happen to all singers, but it is fairly common.
The change is not permanent and has been reported to go away within a year after the pregnancy. Doctors speculate that this is a change in hormones that occurs for women to have a more authoritative voice when talking to their babies in the first year.
This deepening can start at the beginning of the pregnancy. Lead researcher Dr. Kasia Pisanski, of the University of Sussex’s School of Psychology, shared: “Our results show that, despite some singers noticing that their voices get lower while pregnant, the big drop actually happens after they give birth.”
This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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